This book has 155 pages of the biggest text I’ve seen in a book not for children or blind people, and one argument: everyone is conspiring against everyone about everything.
Of course, when you point at everything, you’re really pointing at nothing. If the New World Order existed (and included it in its ranks George W Bush, Gorbachev, Kissinger, Mao, “Adolph” Hitler, Stalin, Reagan, Osama bin Laden, and all the world’s royal families and billionaires), you could never write this book. They would control everything. Anyone seeking to expose them would be disappeared.
This is the odd thing about Alex Jones’ world: there’s no room in it for Alex Jones. The One World Government wouldn’t suffer a bold truth-teller like him to live, and his closing request that you send him money – “The Republic is in great danger of being completely overthrown” – prompts the rather incredulous response: “you just told me that every President since Eisenhower meets annually at Bohemian Grove to perform human sacrifice. What’s left to overthrow?”
But internal logic doesn’t matter to people like Jones. A 2012 study found that belief in one conspiracy predicts belief in another conspiracy, even when those conspiracies contradict one another. In other words, if you answer “yes” to the statement “Princess Diana faked her own death”, then you are more likely to answer “yes” to the statement “Princess Diana was murdered.”
Conspiracy theorists have no problems accepting thought paradoxes like Schrodinger’s cat, provided they are allowed to believe that the cat was murdered by globalist bankster Jews. I’ve seen Holocaust denialists simultaneously argue that 1) Auschwitz had no crematoriums, and 2) the rate at which Auschwitz could cremate bodies was insufficient to conduct the Holocaust. I’ve seen 9/11 truthers simultaneously argue that 1) the pilots were CIA patsies 2) the buildings were hit by a cruise missile.
Normal people are driven by a need to make sense of the world. Conspiracy theorists, however, are driven by narcissism of the intellect: they alone know the truth, and everyone else is a gullible fool. This is why they binge watch Youtube and scroll Twitter for sixteen hours a day. Facts are dollars: the more of them you have, the richer you are. That these facts form a heap of incoherent nonsense doesn’t even register to them.
I found Descent into Tyranny to be a slog. Jones has the wearisome, hectoring style of a loud-mouthed radio host who’s used to steamrolling over guests and callers, and even though it’s the written word, it seems to be shouted at the reader. Reading it made me pity whoever has to sit down with Jones at Thanksgiving. You clearly couldn’t have a reasonable discussion with this person about anything.
Sometimes Jones’ shoot-from-the-hip writing style produces funny results. On page 15 he repeats the story of Nero fiddling while Rome burned, but he gets it jumbled: he has Nero fiddling while setting fire to Rome (perhaps while holding a firebrand between his toes.)
Most of the time, however, it just makes the book even sloppier and less grounded in fact. On page 101, he writes “For years, we warned people about FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). The federal documents have been around for decades and include round-up plans and concentration camps.” End of section. New section. Such vapid handwaving would be fine on the radio, but not in a book. Can we see excerpts from these supposed “federal documents”? Or would that bloat the book to the unpublishable length of 156 pages?
Descent Into Tyranny was written in 2002. I was curious to see how Jones’ political outlook evolved over time, as I vaguely remember Infowars being a left-libertarianish outlet at the start. And yes, the book has a lot of time for conspiracies beloved of left-wingers: IMF, the World Bank, David Koresh being a harmless hippie who was victimized by the feds, etc. It’s published by a small outlet called Progressive Press, whose other titles can be viewed online. (Sample excerpt: “The “Arab Spring” is revealed as part of the scheme to extend the Anglo-Zionist empire and its neo-liberal regime of plunder over the entire planet.”).
Jones was certainly less fond of “Vladymir Putin” (sic) in 2002. In the section entitled “Putin Uses Terror”, he reveals that Putin destroyed an apartment complex using explosive plastique, killing 350 people. Fifteen years later Jones would be on Twitter writing stuff like “Looking forward to Putin giving me the new hashtags to use against Hillary and the dems… “ In fairness, Putin killed 350 people a long time ago. You have to let stuff slide eventually.
The book runs out of material by the end, so Jones pads it out with the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Communist Manifesto (which he insists was written by“global banking cartels”.) It’s gratuitous and farcical. All you need is Huckleberry Finn and Of Mice and Men and the book could serve as a middle-schooler’s summer reading list. Infowars’ slogan is “there’s a war on for your mind!” Alex Jones’ personal solution is to not have one.